ARTWORK by chic2view from 123RF.com
First, can I just say that I am so happy with how many people have been taking about Wyrd And Wonder on day one already? It’s my first time as a host, and my second year taking part, and I’ve spent most of Sunday (when I wasn’t trapped in an IKEA) scrolling through people’s WW plans and photos, and it’s just so nice to be a part of something like that! Ya’ll are the best! For day two, since the prompt is ‘can’t wait to read’ I thought I’d look ahead a little at 10 highly anticipated publications for the second half of 2022 (and maybe 2023 too).
The First Binding by R.R. Virdi
I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I’ve stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I’ve called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.
My name is Ari. And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.
Thus begins the tale of a storyteller and a singer on the run and hoping to find obscurity in a tavern bar. But the sins of their past aren’t forgotten, and neither are their enemies. Their old lives are catching up swiftly and it could cost them the entire world. No one can escape their pasts and all stories must have an ending.
This might be one of my most anticipated 2022 reads, and it crept up on me! Because some people I follow on twitter followed the author, his tweet announcing the cover popped up on my radar and I was instantly enthralled, and every new person who praises it makes me more excited. I’ve already got a preorder in and, since the release is set for August, it’ll be a nice birthday present for myself! Does the fact that the main character has the same name as me make me biased? None of your business!
A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon
Tunuva Melim is a sister of the Priory. For fifty years, she has trained to slay wyrms – but none have appeared since the Nameless One, and the younger generation is starting to question the Priory’s purpose. To the north, Sabran the Ambitious has married the new King of Hroth, narrowly saving her queendom from ruin. Their daughter, Glorian, trails in their shadow – exactly where she wants to be. Meanwhile, the dragons of the East have slept for centuries. Dumai lives in a Seiikinese mountain temple, where celebrants strive to wake the gods from the Long Slumber – but someone from her mother’s past is coming to the mountain for her.
When the Dreadmount erupts, bringing with it an age of terror and violence, these women must rise to protect humankind from a devastating threat. Sweeping and epic, A Day of Fallen Night returns readers to the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree.
This was only just announce the other day and, reader, I squealed! The Priory of the Orange Tree is my great love and I have longing to return to its world ever since I left it! So I am incredibly excited we now have a title (though it’s quite YA sounding), and that Shannon has said the concept art for the cover is amazing too! January 2023 cannot come soon enough!
For the Throne by Hannah Whitten
Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Five Kings, but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister – Neve, the First Daughter – is lost in the Shadowlands. But Neve has an ally, even if it’s one she’d rather never speak to again – the rogue king Solmir. Together they must journey across a dangerous landscape to find the mysterious Heart Tree – and finally claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.
I read For the Wolf during last year’s Wyrd & Wonder and was mesmerised by its dark prose. I was tempted to request an ARC of this to carry on the tradition and read the conclusion to the duology this May, but I want to give it its deserved time so I think I’ll just get hold of it when it comes out, since I ended up buying book one anyway and it will be nice to finish the collection.
The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri
The prophecy of the nameless god – the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa – has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with the strength of the rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.
The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.
Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya’s souls remain as entwined as their destinies. And they soon realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn – even if it will cost them.
The cover? The title?? The plot?? *chefs kiss* this sounds like more heart-wrenching sapphic drama and I live for it. I may need to re-read The Jasmine Throne (another 2021 Wyrd and Wonder read) so that the emotional devastation will be greater. And this one also comes out in August so it seems like my birthday month will be book-filled. It has been decided.
Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston
After finding her brother and saving the entire supernatural world, Amari Peters is convinced her first full summer as a Junior Agent will be a breeze. But between the fearsome new Head Minister’s strict anti-magician agenda, fierce Junior Agent rivalries, and her brother Quinton’s curse steadily worsening, Amari’s plate is full. So when the secretive League of Magicians offers her a chance to stand up for magiciankind as its new leader, she declines. She’s got enough to worry about!
But her refusal allows someone else to step forward, a magician with dangerous plans for the League. This challenge sparks the start of the Great Game, a competition to decide who will become the Night Brothers’ successor and determine the future of magiciankind. The Great Game is both mysterious and deadly, but among the winner’s magical rewards is Quinton’s last hope . . . so how can Amari refuse?
Amari and the Night Brothers was one of my best middle grade reads last year, and I think it deserves to be the successor toe the likes of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, because it’s just so fun and so brilliant! I’m hoping the sequel lives up to this, though I have very few doubts it will.
The Children of Gods and Fighting Men by Shauna Lawless
981 AD. The Viking King of Dublin is dead. His young widow, Gormflaith, has ambitions for her son – and herself – but Ireland is a dangerous place and kings tend not to stay kings for long. Gormflaith also has a secret. She is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic. She has kept her powers hidden at all costs, for there are other immortals in this world – like the Tuatha De Danann, a race of warriors who are sworn to kill Fomorians.
Fodla is one of the Tuatha De Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Fodla agrees to help her kin by going to spy on Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She finds a land on the brink of war – a war she is desperate to stop. However, preventing the loss of mortal lives is not easy with Ireland in turmoil and the Fomorians now on the rise…
This one makes me oddly proud because I followed Shauna already through her blogging – reviews and folklore posts – and when I found out she has a book coming out I was very excited. This is another one I’ve preordered and I can’t imagine how much more beautiful the cover will look in person!
Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. So she infiltrated the Legendborn Order, a secret society descended from King Arthur’s knights – only to discover her own ancestral power. Now, Bree has become someone new: A Medium. A Bloodcrafter. A Scion.
But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising to a deadly peak. And Nick, the Legendborn boy Bree fell in love with, has been kidnapped. When the Regents reveal they will do whatever it takes to hide the war, Bree and her friends must go on the run to rescue Nick themselves. But enemies are everywhere, Bree’s own powers are unpredictable and dangerous, and she can’t escape her growing attraction to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death. If Bree has any hope of saving herself and the people she loves, she must learn to control her powers from the ancestors who wielded them first – without losing herself in the process.
Tracy Deonn took me by surprise with Legendborn and how full of emotion her writing is. So much so that I don’t even mind the fact that she seems to be building up a love triangle. Sometimes, if done well, they can be a great addition, and I trust Deonn. Anyway, apart from that, the folklore, the history, and the magic all made the first book in this series something unique and I can’t wait to see how that gets developed.
The Endless Song by Joshua Phillip Johnson
After setting fire to the Forever Sea and leaving the surface world behind, Kindred Greyreach dives below to find a Seafloor populated by roving bands of scavengers. Among them, Kindred discovers a familiar face working to save the Sea from the continued spread of the Greys and the ravages of the world above. But when Kindred finds herself at odds with them, she and her friends will have to use every power available to them-including their link to the surface world-to forestall disaster.
Meanwhile, above, a boy named Flitch, son of the Baron of the Borders, finds himself caught in a dangerous political crisis as survivors from Arcadia and the Once-City arrive on the Mainland. When Flitch begins to receive messages from someone below the Sea, the denizens of the Mainland see it as a sign that ancient enemies from across the Forever Sea are returning. The resulting crisis forces Flitch and his siblings to flee, as they seek out the truth hidden in old stories. Above and below, Flitch and Kindred will have to work together to save themselves, their loved ones, and the Forever Sea itself.
The Forever Sea was one of my earliest reviews, and so it holds a special place in my heart. I definitely need to reread it because I only have vague memories of the plot but the world Johnson created is hard to forget. A vast sea of grasses covers the world and those that wish to sail it must have someone capable of keeping the ship afloat through magic. It’s a stunning concept and I enjoyed the characters, so I’m keen to see what happens when they find themselves below the sea.
A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland
Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, has no intention of wrestling for imperial control with his sister, the queen. Yet he remains at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court – the father of the queen’s new child. Then a hunting party goes terribly awry, and Kadou finds himself under suspicion of attempted murder. To prove his loyalty to his sister and salvage his reputation, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds. He enlists the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best.
But what appears to be a straightforward crime spirals into a complex counterfeiting operation, with a powerful enemy at its heart. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy. The conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing – and bring about its ruin.
I do actually have an ARC of this, but because I have other things lined up ahead of it, it may be a while before I actually get to read it and I really want to! That may mean I end up bumping it up the list at some point but for now it can stay at a tantalising distance… I have been wanting to read Alexandra Rowland’s books for a while now, and this new series seems the perfect place to start! Plus, look at that gorgeous cover!!
The Warrior by Stephen Aryan
Kell, two time saviour of the Five Kingdoms, is now the King of Algany. He has fame, power, respect, and has never been more miserable… Bound, by duty and responsibility, Kell is King only in name. Trapped in a loveless marriage, he leaves affairs of state to his wife, Sigrid. When his old friend, Willow, turns up asking him to go on a journey to her homeland he can’t wait to leave.
The Malice, a malevolent poison that alters everything it infects, runs rampant across Willow’s homeland. Desperate to find a cure her cousin, Ravvi, is willing to try a dark ritual which could damn her people forever. Journeying to a distant land, Kell and his companions must stop Ravvi before it’s too late. While Kell is away Reverend Mother Britak’s plans come to a head. Queen Sigrid must find a way to protect her family and her nation, but against such a ruthless opponent, something has to give…
The first book in this series, The Coward, was something different and I enjoyed it, especially since I did a buddy-read of it with Max of The Geek Pyramid. One of the things I liked the most was the setting, so I’m keen on the idea of seeing different part of the world Aryan has created.
Special mentions go to: The Faithless by C.L. Clarke (no cover yet), The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart (delayed publication), A Curse of Krakens by Kevin Hearne (delayed yet another year – it was on my anticipated reads for last year), Lucy Holland’s Wild Hunt book (no pub date), and whatever series RJ Barker is doing next because I know he’s working on one (a forest fantasy no less) and I want to know more!!
I have noticed that the majority of these are sequels, and I suppose I am more likely to be anticipating something if I’ve already read a part of that story, but I have noticed that I’m reading a lot of sequels this year of things I started in 2020 and 2021. I think I’m still not used to reading things as they come out; before I was a blogger and a bookseller I’d just pick up whatever I found and usually it happened to be stuff that already had most books written… just an interesting observation!